MUSIC INTERVIEW: Life On The Road With…Black Orchid Empire

This week Black Orchid Empire embark on a UK headline in celebration of the release of their debut album Archetype. We caught up with frontman Paul Visser to hear his touring tips and stories from the road, from pushing their van up a muddy hill to dressing room mishaps…

Favourite thing about touring:

Getting to see all the people up and down the country who love rock music and come out to party with us. The scene is so strong, it’s amazing to be a part of it.

Least favourite thing about touring:

No-one likes sitting in the back of a van for 6 hours. When you start to add up the hours travelling vs time playing, it’s pretty gruelling. Totally worth it though. Also, one tip if you’re on the road – if a budget hotel offers you a ‘breakfast box’, don’t do it. It’s not your friend.

Five essentials for the road:

Music – it’s actually great to have time to check out new stuff when you’re travelling. This tour, winter clothes – we’re gonna be in Aberdeen in November. A t-shirt and leather jacket ain’t gonna cut it. Beer. Paracetamol. A pillow – beg borrow or steal one, trust me.

Your favourite way to pass the time:

Just talking unbelievable amounts of shit with our legendary FOH guy Martyn. We’ve had to give him a two terrible-pun-per-day limit. He’s often overdrawn.

“The Most”

Memorable moment:

Playing in Germany at Taubertal festival with Skunk and Biffy, and watching them tear it apart.

Hilarious moment:

Watching a Polish band we’d just played with load so much gear into their tiny car that they had to sit on each other’s laps. They had a 1200 mile drive.

Embarrassing moment:

Getting the van stuck on wet grass after playing Standon Calling Festival. We had to push it up a massive muddy hill at 2am while a bunch of drunk people watched and laughed.

Outrageous moment:

There is a fairly large hole in a dressing room wall in a certain UK venue, caused by a band member who will remain nameless…

Drunken moment:

Probably much worse than the ones I can actually remember.

Rewarding moment:

Winning Emergenza UK. Not normally into battle of the bands stuff, but that was a pretty special moment early on for the band.


Catch Black Orchid Empire at one of their remaining tour dates:


Fri 11th – LUTON – Harveys
Wed 16th – BRIDGWATER – Cobblestones
Thu 17th – BASINGSTOKE – Sanctuary
Fri 18th – CORBY – The Hut
Sun 20th – CHESTER – Live Rooms
Tue 22nd – EDINBURGH – Opium
Thu 24th – ABERDEEN – Underdog
Fri 25th – WORKINGTON – Lounge 41
Sat 26th – BRADFORD – Underground
Sun 27th – DUBLIN – The Thomas House

A 20-something year old journalist and freelance PR often found at a gig, a festival or holding a dictophone to a band and asking them all kinds of questions. I'm a sucker for whiskey and vinyl.